Dear Sunnyview Family,

September should be known as Back-to-Church season. With school in session once again most people are done with their summer vacations, bracing themselves for the work that is in front of them. We are prepared for the school year and the work season, aiming for high achievements.

But church does not get the same treatment. While we focus on making sure school and work performance are up to or above par, we are willing to our interaction with church slide to accommodate. Academics, sports, overtime, and clubs all pull us toward themselves. That pull often drags us further from God, and in turn further from His church. And while we would like to blame society for valuing these things so highly, it comes down to our choice. We choose these other things over God.

The reason that most students do not attend church is it has not been modeled for them. When parent’s decide that a cookout or a game or a job is worth missing church, it sends a clear message that these things are more important than church. And if these things are more important, why go? It is not enough to say that going to church is important; it must be modeled as such. When students see us choose God over everything else, it sends a clear message which we know is the truth: God is the most important.

So does this mean that clubs, school, sports, overtime, etc, are bad things we are to avoid and church is what will solve all our problems? Absolutely not. And to think this way brings us to the opposite extreme which will pull us away from God. To ignore the interests and talents of those around us is to ignore them, which is to not love them. And to raise the church to the position of savior is idolatry, which is to not love God. The matter comes down to our choice.

September is when we are to recommit ourselves to Christ, and resubmit ourselves to His body. To jump back into His arms head first. To repent of our misdirected focus and have God be the lord of our life again. Coming back to God will always lead us, and our students, back to church. Now is the time.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. - Deuteronomy 6

In Christ,

Jeremy Coggins